They’re coming to collect
the table I’m writing on.
They texted a while ago
to say they were leaving
a suburb four miles south.
Midweek, early evening:
traffic should be light.
I thought of sitting here
in gratitude, once more,
as long as supper lasts.
hung weeks unanswered
in the whole foods co-op.
Then yesterday they called
to ask if I’d sell piecemeal.
Happily. The sun has drifted
slantwise of our building.
In the back lane behind me
two kitchen porters smoke
in what could be Cantonese.
For six years my things have
waited for the party I was
always threatening to throw.
There’s the door…
                          They’ve been
& gone & bought the lot!
They were tremendously sweet:
her, Flemish, full of chat;
a fiancé with beard & bearing
of some prince in waiting.
They came for my table just
& took a shine to everything.
We laughed & lugged it all
to her employer’s truck
parked running in the lane,
shook hands, wished luck
& hugged for heaven’s sake.
I came indoors to find this
notebook open on the floor
beneath my broken bread.
Thank you sideboard fetched
halfway across the Fens.
Thank you captain’s chest,
handmade plywood bed,
mess benches from the war.
Thanks to all those friends
I shipped on for a song.
Thank you rooms in shade
that might yet prove to be
night already happening.
Thank you echoes echoing.
I have more hope in me
than I’d have ever guessed.


Conor O’Callaghan